Welcome to our second blog post – Team Nepal are now actually in Nepal! The first half of what follows, we wrote whilst on our way here. Public Wi-Fi failed us and we were unable to post it at the time, but we want to include it now as it contains our reflections on training. In the second half, you’ll find an update on our first couple of days in country!
Hello from Doha, halfway into our 17-hour journey to Kathmandu. As we write this, we are waiting for our connecting flight to take us from Qatar to Nepal. On Wednesday evening, after just a few days at home, we waved goodbye to our families. While this wasn’t easy, we are all very excited at the near prospect of saying ‘Namaste!’ to the country we’ve been talking about since January.
For now, here are some reflections on and highlights from our second fortnight of training.
The three of us thoroughly enjoyed a second weekend at our training church in Warwick, where we helped with children’s and youth groups, mums and toddlers, and in the church nursery. We also led the Sunday morning service and managed to enjoy doing it! As was the case last time, we were spoilt with amazing hospitality and even more food than we eat at IMC!
We had the opportunity to visit a Sikh gurdwara, the biggest (and surely one of the most beautiful) in Europe; to learn about the Sikh religion; and to experience Sikh hospitality… Yes, we’re talking about food for the second time in this post.
Our parents and siblings joined us last Saturday for a service at IMC in which all of the Action Teamers were commissioned. We feel blessed to be part of this year’s Action Team cohort, which has become very close. At training church, we were given an image of God’s love being wrapped around the world through the journeys currently being made by Action Teams: we can’t wait to find out what the Guinea, Uganda, Mozambique and Kosovo teams get up to!
We also remember:
Buying Advent calendars (food again) on the 29th September, to take to Nepal in – far too early, we admit – readiness for Christmas.
Rach and Rebekah completing First Aid training while Rachel played games, designed crafts, and tried her hand at face painting… she had been tasked with planning how to connect with people, especially children, through those activities and with limited resources.
Finding this in Luke 18: ‘Truly I tell you’, Jesus said, ‘no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life’ (verses 29-30). This, we find encouraging, motivating, and just so exciting!
And now, from Nepal! We arrived safely on Wednesday evening, and in true British style, upon getting out of the plane, the first thing we commented on was… not food this time, but the weather! It is still hot in Kathmandu at the moment, touching 30°C during the daytime. The first two days here have been spent with our supervisors and their families, getting to know the part of the city in which we are living (Patan – google it!). Today, we attended a Nepali church, which meets on a Saturday and would normally be conducted solely in Nepali. However, we were fortunate to enjoy a sermon in English, something that apparently happens once or twice a year!
Aside from the ever-important weather, first impressions include:
Rachel is surprised at how calm and quiet Kathmandu is compared to Mumbai. Rebekah and Rach find it a little more crazy! In particular, there are fewer ‘rules of the road’ here than back at home and we have yet to become comfortable in crossing one.
From where we are in Kathmandu, we can see the mountains that surround the city – or at least, we call them ‘mountains’, which amuses our supervisors’ children. Apparently they are ‘hills’. We await a clear day for our first view of the Himalayas, and can’t quite imagine what they will look like, so much higher than the hills [mountains!] we have seen already.
The food is great! Even Rach, who feels very English compared to the others when it comes to her taste in food, enjoyed the very first meal of momos – those are steamed dumplings filled with meat and vegetables and served with dipping sauces.
Anyway, we’re sure we will have so much more to tell next time we post, as in the coming week, we look forward to a scavenger hunt around the city with new BMS friends, daily language lessons, and visits to our projects.
Prayer and praise points:
Praise for a wonderful month of training at IMC, a time to draw closer to God.
Praise that we are finally and safely in Nepal!
Prayer for safety and peace of mind while we settle into life in Kathmandu.
Prayer that we would settle in quickly, learning some of the language and dealing with culture shock and homesickness, so that we would be able to embrace the different culture.
Prayer for the projects we are going to be involved with and the people we will meet; that God will have gone before us, preparing encounters and conversations.